Neuroleptic, antimuscarinic, and antiadrenergic activity of chlorpromazine, thioridazine, and their metabolites

Psychiatry Res. 1979 Oct;1(2):199-208. doi: 10.1016/0165-1781(79)90062-3.


Chlorpromazine and thioridazine are widely used antipsychotic agents that are extensively metabolized. Parent compounds and metabolites have diverse pharmacologic activities, and differences in patterns of metabolism may explain differences in therapeutic and side effects from individual to individual. Radioreceptor assays were used to determine the neuroleptic, antimuscarinic, and anti-alpha-noradrenergic potency of chlorpromazine, thioridazine, and their metabolites. The results indicate that these metabolites show a wide range of potencies. The spectrum of activity of a metabolite may be quite different from that of its parent compound. The clinical relevance of these findings to individual differences in drug response is discussed. The combined use of radioreceptor assays and chemical assays in future clinical research is proposed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antipsychotic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cattle
  • Chlorpromazine / analogs & derivatives
  • Chlorpromazine / pharmacology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Parasympatholytics / pharmacology*
  • Radioligand Assay
  • Sympatholytics / pharmacology*
  • Thioridazine / analogs & derivatives
  • Thioridazine / pharmacology*


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Parasympatholytics
  • Sympatholytics
  • Thioridazine
  • Chlorpromazine